Monica Lewinsky walks out of interview over Bill Clinton question - Josh Loe

Monica Lewinsky walks out of interview over Bill Clinton question

monica lewinsky walk out interview
Monica Lewinsky walked out of an interview in Jerusalem on Monday when she was asked an “off limits” question about Bill Clinton.
Tal Schneider/Twitter

Monica Lewinsky stormed off the stage at a live event when she was asked a question about Bill Clinton.

Lewinsky had been at a conference in Jerusalem on Monday when Yonit Levi, an anchor at Israel’s Channel 2 News program, asked her if she still expected a personal apology from Clinton, who had an affair with her in the 1990s and has insisted that he didn’t owe her an apology in private.

The conversation took place shortly after Lewinsky delivered a speech on the dangers of the internet, and was meant to talk about the speech, Lewinsky said.

Here’s what happened:

Levi: You talked about being abandoned by the main figure of the crisis, “who knew me intimately.” You said in an interview in NBC News, former President Clinton was rather irate when he asked if he ever apologized to you personally. He said: “I apologized publicly.” Do you still expect that apology, a personal apology?

Lewinsky: I’m so sorry, I’m not going to be able to do this.

Then Lewinsky took off her microphone and walked off the stage, which was followed by some applause from a few members of the audience.

Tal Schneider posted a clip of the episode:

Shortly after the incident Lewinsky tweeted that the question about Clinton was “off limits,” and that she had asked Levi not to ask the question when they met the day before.

“There were clear parameters about what we would be discussing and what we would not,” Lewinsky said.

“The exact question the interviewer asked first, she had put to me when we met the day prior. I said that was off limits. When she asked me it on stage, with blatant disregard for our agreement, it became clear to me that I had been misled.

“I left because it is more important than ever for women to stand up for themselves and not allow others to control their narrative. To the audience: I’m very sorry that this talk had to end this way.”

Read Lewinsky’s statement in full:

Levi’s employer, the Israeli News Company, said the question was legitimate.

A spokesman for the company told TIME: “The question asked was legitimate, worthy and respectful and in no way deviated from Ms. Lewinsky’s request.”

Lewinsky and Clinton had an affair in the 1990s while he was president, and she was a 22-year-old intern at the White House.

Full details of the affair came to light during Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, and Lewinsky later said she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in the fallout.

Earlier this year the former president lashed out at a NBC interviewer when he was asked whether he thought differently about his relationship with Lewinsky amid the ongoing reckoning with sexual misconduct.

Clinton later blamed his temper on “the way the questions were asked.”

An official White House photo of Lewinsky and Clinton in November 1995.
The White House/AP

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